If you or a loved one suffers from depression, there may be some comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and you’re not any different than the more than 17 million American adults who experience its symptoms every year. Finding a common bond – in symptoms and understanding that mental health disorders aren’t a death sentence – can be a source of strength. Managing depression requires knowledge, resources, and a commitment to finding treatment appropriate for your symptoms.
Mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, describes a wide variety of mental health issues — disorders affecting thinking, mood, and behavior. Examples of mental disorders include schizophrenia, addictive behaviors, and eating disorders. Many people experience mental health concerns occasionally. But a mental health “concern” morphs into a mental illness when persistent symptoms and signs create recurrent stress and affect a person’s ability to function. Studies have linked anxiety, depression, and other disorders to genetics.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that occurs in some people after the occurrence of a highly stressful, shocking, scary, or traumatic event. Doctors do not know why certain people’s bodies react to stress to result in PTSD, but for those individuals, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can interrupt their day-to-day functioning and disrupt their lives.
PTSD symptoms may start right away following a traumatic event, or they may not appear until months or years afterward. These symptoms can generally be grouped into four types:
Intrusive memories: a recurrent, unwanted “reliving” of the event through flashbacks, dreams, and/or nightmares; emotional distress or physical reactions when something is a reminder of the traumatic event.
Avoidance: avoiding people, places, or activities that bring reminders of the event.
Negative changes in thinking and mood: negative feelings about self, other people, or the world in general; hopelessness; difficulty maintaining relationships; detachment from family and friends; feeling emotionally numb.
Changes in physical and emotional reactions: being easily frightened or startled; always being “on guard” for danger; trouble sleeping; irritability; angry outbursts or aggressive behavior; self-destructive behavior with alcohol or drug abuse; overwhelming guilt or shame.
PTSD symptoms typically vary in intensity over time. People have “good periods,” and then they have “bad periods.” When the “bad periods” become more common, become intense, and/or disrupt life, it is time to seek help. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.
At our Pearland, TX Ketamine Infusion Treatment Center, we offer effective IV Ketamine treatments that can provide relief for patients with PTSD. Ketamine has been used as an aesthetic for over 50 years, and it has been proven effective for the treatment of mood disorders. If PTSD has taken over your life, it is time to get it back. We are pioneers in using ketamine to treat chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders like PTSD. You deserve to live a life without the symptoms of PTSD. Contact our clinic today to find your way back to enjoying life again.
Somewhere around seven percent of the US population, or about seventeen million American adults, suffer from depression each year. Depression may occur only once, but for some, depression typically occurs in episodes where symptoms provide stress for days or weeks at a time. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:
- Differences in sleep patterns, such as getting too much or not enough sleep
- Lack of interest in hobbies or other normal activities
- Frequent outbursts of increased irritability
- General feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Lack of energy
- Dramatic weight loss or weight gain
- A heightened sense of anxiety
- Trouble focusing
- Suicidal ideations
- Unexplained aches and pains
Not only does depression cause a litany of emotional problems, but many physical symptoms or ailments as well. Adults suffering from depression may be sixty percent more likely to develop heart disease. This can be further complicated by excessive weight gain, sometimes caused by an increase in cravings while depressed. Depression may lead some down a road to alcohol or drug abuse, which then only worsens the symptoms of depression in a vicious cycle. Those suffering from depression may withdraw from social situations with friends and family and isolate themselves. Additionally, many with depression also develop anxiety or panic disorders.
Anxiety disorders take many different forms, such as Agoraphobia (a tendency to avoid situations that may cause you to feel panic), or Social Anxiety Disorder. Most anxiety disorders share some common symptoms, such as: feeling restless or nervous, a sense of impending doom, increased heart rate and breathing, or gastrointestinal problems.
There are many different treatments for anxiety and depression, but many suffering will find that they suffer from treatment-resistant forms of these mental disorders. While SSRIs and other antidepressants may take weeks at a time before the effects start to become noticeable, there are quite a few options that can help relieve your depression and anxiety, sometimes within hours.
How to Find Relief from Treatment-Resistant Depression or Anxiety
An innovative new treatment option, Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic that has been found to provide rapid relief from depression and anxiety when infused at a low dose. The FDA has recently approved Esketamine, a nasal spray comprised of a compound based on Ketamine, for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders. Research indicates that Ketamine stimulates the regrowth of synapses within the brain, essentially rewiring the parts of the brain that may be causing distress. Ketamine is also available as an infusion. Some researchers maintain a 75% success rate when treating those suffering from depression or anxiety with Ketamine Infusions.
Adopt a Serotonin-Boosting Diet
Serotonin, known by its scientific name 5-hydroxytryptamine, is a chemical messenger used throughout the brain and blood vessels to transmit messages between nerve cells. While it has many uses in the human body, it is thought to play an important role in the body’s happiness and overall mood, and also regulates sleep and memory.
It is currently unclear how serotonin may contribute to depression, but there are a number of drugs and medications that alter serotonin levels to treat depression or anxiety. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or sertraline (Zoloft) are approved by the FDA for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Fortunately, eating foods that contain tryptophan can boost serotonin levels in your brain. Research into tryptophan has shown that serotonin levels drop when practicing a diet low in tryptophan. Foods that can increase tryptophan or serotonin levels include:
- Eggs. Egg yolks are rich in tryptophan, and other nutrients good for the human body, such as protein or omega-3 fatty acids.
- Cheese/Milk. Milk can also provide calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth.
- Nuts/Seeds. All nuts and seeds have been found to contain tryptophan. Eating just a handful of nuts once a day may also lower your risk for cancer or heart disease.
- Salmon. Salmon is also a strong source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-D. Eating just two portions of oily fish a week provides enough tryptophan for most people.
Get Outside and Absorb Sunlight
Like the foods listed above, sunlight itself is a great source of serotonin. Research has shown a link between decreased sun exposure and dropping serotonin levels.
A modest amount of direct sunlight can boost the body’s Vitamin D levels and can decrease the risks of cancer.
Fortunately, for those suffering from Agoraphobia, one can buy a lightbox and participate in what’s known as phototherapy. The lightbox simulates natural sunlight to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
While immediate relief is usually not possible with meditation, habitual meditation not only reduces thoughts of depression and anxiety but also allows a person to practice how they react to stress and anxiety.
Research shows that the medial prefrontal cortex (the mPFC) is a key part of how the brain processes anxiety depression. Often referred to as the “Me Center” of the brain, the mPFC is where information about the self is processed. When stressed, the mPFC becomes hyperactive. The amygdala, the part of the brain that is responsible for the fight-or-flight response, often works in tandem with the mPFC to spike the stress hormone cortisol.
Meditation has been found to help break down the connection between the mPFC and the amygdala, which allows a person to better control the stress and anxiety one may be feeling.
Avoid Caffeine as Much as Possible
A 2019 study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that the caffeine from tea and coffee may disrupt important neurotransmitters like dopamine. For those with depression, a drop in dopamine can lower motivation and increase the craving for stimulants.
A heavy intake of caffeine often results in unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, headaches, an increase in blood pressure, or nausea. These symptoms may only further exacerbate depression and anxiety.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder that typically affects one specific limb after an injury, believed to be caused by damage to the nervous system. The pain is usually out of proportion when compared to the initial injury. Often, the initial energy is a musculoskeletal or nerve injury.
CRPS is uncommon and still not completely understood by science, but treatment can be effective when started early on. As many as 200,000 individuals experience this condition in the United States every year.
Research has proven time and time again that although CRPS is a physical disorder, it has not been unheard of for medical professionals to suggest that patients with CRPS are exaggerating their pain for psychological reasons.
What are the symptoms of CRPS?
The most consistent symptom is constant, severe pain often described as a burning or “pins and needles” sensation throughout the affected limb. In some cases, the pain has been known to spread across the entire limb, even if the initial injury only affected a finger or a toe. The affected area may experience allodynia, which means that normal contact with the skin can be very painful.
Other symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Swelling of the affected area
- Changes in skin temperature, color, or texture
- Joint swelling or stiffness
- Muscle spasms or tremors
Symptoms have been known to change over time and often vary from person to person. In rare cases, CRPS may even spread from the affected area to elsewhere in your body.
What are the causes of CRPS?
While the exact causes are still not entirely understood, in more than 90 percent of cases of CRPS the condition is triggered by a history of trauma or injury. These triggers include fractures, sprains, soft tissue injury, limb immobilization, surgery, or sometimes even a minor medical procedure such as a needle stick.